2012 Toyota Avalon Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Toyota Avalon Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota Avalon Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 268 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Toyota Avalon

  • The 2012 Toyota Avalon is a solid choice for a full-size sedan, but some newer and less expensive competitors might be more appealing.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Seats five adults in comfort; good visibility; comfortable ride; strong and efficient engine; reclining rear seats.

  • Cons

    A bit expensive for its class; elevated road noise; front seats lack support; refined nature leaves little room for flair or personality.

  • What's New for 2012

    For 2012, the Toyota Avalon is unchanged.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I love my avalon!

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Avalon

I have not had my Avalon too long, but for the time I have had it...I adore it. I have had many other cars, from Ford to Buick to Chevy, etc. I am in love with this car. It drives like a dream. I slammed on the brakes in the rain and it stopped on a dime. If I were in my van I used to have or my truck...I would have wrecked my car. I am so satisfied, I can't believe it.

Poor back up camera

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Avalon

I purchased my 2011 with 32,000+ miles. the backup camera doesn't show evenly on the navigation screen. It isn't centered on the screen. The dealer told me after I drove it off the lot that all 2011s have this. "It is on all the 2011s". I've asked the dealer 5 weeks ago to drive another 2011 to see if that car has the same problem. So far, he said he hasn't had one to test. If anyone has this problem, please coment. Thank you.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Malfunctioning extras are a pain

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Avalon

Let me preface this review by saying that the first Avalon I had was excellent. I had it 7 yrs. & traded only because someone hit me. The 2011 Avalon I have now is also an excellent ride, but the wind noise and some of its extras are more trouble than they're worth.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

Surprised at 70k miles

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Avalon

We've had our Avalon for about a year and a half now and have been satisfied. We've had Toyota's since 1989. At 65k, front brake rotors warped & pads needed replacing - at 68k, the rear rotors & pads got replaced. At 70k, inner tie rods got loose and got replaced. We're holding our breath and wondering what's going to be next. Of course, this is the first Toyota that we've kept beyond the 36k mark, so perhaps this brand isn't as reliable as we've always thought? Although we'd hesitate to say this Avalon is a lemon, we've planned on its lasting 10 years...wish us luck.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Exceptional value in its class.

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Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Avalon

2011 Avalon XLS (Canada) has the competiton beat! Excellent front seat comfort with full power lumbar for driver / passenger. More room than Mercedes E350. Lexus features without the price. This car is quite fast and has a controlled stable ride, and uses regular gas, unlike the competiton. Gas mileage has been 7.5l / 100 km - highway (38 MPG - imperial) and 10.5l / 100 km city. The voice reconition is very good, controls well laid-out and nice NAVI system. Lots of room in the back seat with comfortable seating and tilting seatback is functional. Very good trunk space. Both interior and exterior fit and finish are tight with good alignment. Great car for long trips in varied terrain.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

My third avalon is a

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Toyota Avalon

I bought my 2011 Avalon Limited new in Dec.2011. It is not the same quality of my two previous Avalons. Last one was 2002 with 176K miles and it ran smoother and quieter than the new one. Wind comes in window, I'm told it's normal due to mirrow (doesn't do it on passenger side). Rides rough, worse than my husbands F250 4x4 diesel. Lots and lots of road noise. Not a quiet car at all. Rear passenger window broke (fixed now), rear reclining seat broke (part ordered). Brakes feel mushy, Struts seem non-existent. Car really sat low when 2 adults and 2 teens with 4 bags packed (not heavy..trunk too small to pack much). Toyota dealer tells me everything is normal and up to Toyota specs. Bad Car!!

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Toyota Avalon Review

What's New for 2012

For 2012, the Toyota Avalon is unchanged.


For decades, full-size cars were as much a part of the American landscape as drive-in theaters. But just like this icon of the American landscape, only a handful of full-size models remain. Within this group, the 2012 Toyota Avalon continues to be a well-known and respectable choice.

Debuting back in 2005, the current-generation, Camry-based Avalon is one of Toyota's oldest models, even if it underwent a significant design overhaul last year. But there's still a lot to like here, including a spacious cabin, excellent visibility and a refined ride. Also maintaining big sedan tradition is the Avalon's massive backseat, which boasts standard reclining seatbacks, abundant headroom and an available power rear sunshade.

Unlike in years past, however, the Avalon now faces more competent competitors, such as the stylish Buick LaCrosse, the impressively revamped Chrysler 300, the tech-oriented Ford Taurus and the upscale Hyundai Genesis. Compared to these models, the Avalon can come off as less refined and a bit boring due to its conservative styling and overall driving demeanor.

Perhaps most importantly, the Avalon's base price when new starts anywhere from about $3,000-$7,000 above the base versions of its chief rivals. But overall the 2012 Toyota Avalon is still worth consideration given its success in fulfilling the core aspects that most full-size sedan shoppers will be looking for.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Toyota Avalon is a full-size sedan available in base and Limited trim levels.

Standard equipment on the base Avalon includes 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, auto-dimming driver and rearview mirrors, heated mirrors, a sunroof, automatic headlights, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an eight-way power driver seat, a reclining rear seat, leather upholstery, a rearview camera (mounted in the rearview mirror), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a nine-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.

The Limited adds xenon headlights, automatic wipers, keyless ignition/entry, additional power driver seat adjustment, a power passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory functions, a power rear sunshade and a 12-speaker sound system.

A few of the Limited's features, such as the upgraded sound system and heated seats, are available on the base Avalon, while a voice-activated touchscreen navigation system with real-time traffic is optional for both trims.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive 2012 Toyota Avalon is motivated by a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.

In Edmunds performance testing, an Avalon Limited accelerated to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, a reasonably quick time for a large sedan. The EPA's fuel mileage estimates for the Avalon stand at 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined, making it one of the more fuel-efficient full-size sedans available.


Standard safety equipment on the 2012 Toyota Avalon includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver-side knee airbag. During Edmunds brake testing, the Avalon came to a stop from 60 mph in 129 feet, a slightly longer-than-average distance for this class.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Avalon earned the top score of "Good" for its protection of occupants in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Toyota Avalon's interior feels upscale and inviting thanks to its glowing gauges, attractive and ergonomic control layout and high-quality materials. Standard wood and metallic accents further the luxury ambience, making the Avalon impressively similar to its upscale cousins from Lexus. That said, the Avalon's competitors have a similar interior ambience.

The front seats are wide and accommodating, and the Avalon Limited offers them heated, ventilated and with a seat cushion length adjuster. The rear seats are very comfortable as well. Legroom is abundant even by full-size sedan standards, and the seatbacks recline, which allows passengers to stretch out on long trips. A 6-footer can sit in back with more than enough knee- and headroom. And with a nearly flat floor, getting three into the backseat on carpool day is no problem, which is a noticeable advantage compared to some of the Avalon's rear-drive competitors.

One minor annoyance is the inability to fold the rear seats down -- the trade-off for the reclining feature. The trunk measures 14.4 cubic feet, which is smaller than what's available in other full-size sedans.

Driving Impressions

Not surprisingly, the 2012 Toyota Avalon is at its best on the open highway. The ultra-smooth V6 engine has plenty of passing power and the suspension swallows up road imperfections without drama. The Avalon is no athlete, though, so those interested in a slightly more involved driving experience should consider the Buick LaCrosse or Chrysler 300. And although it's reasonably quiet as cars go, the Avalon does generate more road noise at highway speeds than most other full-size sedans.

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